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Planning with essential questions


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  • 1. Planning with EssentialQuestionsImagine Prep at SurpriseJohn Buzzard
  • 2. What is an essential question?A question is essential when it: ▫ causes genuine and relevant inquiry into the big ideas and core content; ▫ provokes deep thought, lively discussion, sustained inquiry, and new understanding as well as more questions; Source: Wiggins, Grant “What is an essential Question” ideas/index.lasso Nov 15, 2007
  • 3. What is an essential question (2) A question is essential when it: ▫ requires students to consider alternatives, weigh evidence, support their ideas, and justify their answers; ▫ stimulates vital, on-going rethinking of big ideas, assumptions, and prior lessons; Source: Wiggins, Grant “What is an essential Question” ideas/index.lasso Nov 15, 2007
  • 4. Essential Questions• What is one?• What isn’t one?• How do they guide inquiry and learning?• How do they lead to projects and exhibitions?• How do I use essential questions to plan my class?• How do I help students understand and work with essential questions?
  • 5. What is an essential question (3)A question is essential when it: ▫ sparks meaningful connections with prior learning and personal experiences; ▫ naturally recurs, creating opportunities for transfer to other situations and subjects Source: Wiggins, Grant “What is an essential Question” ideas/index.lasso Nov 15, 2007
  • 6. So what does that mean…?• An essential question guides students to ask their own questions, to question deeper elements of a topic or concept, and to create their own understanding of the world.• For example, let’s take a look at the essential question: “
  • 7. Defining an essential questionSome qualities of this question:• It is clear and brief.• It does not have a simple answer.• It demands further research and inquiry.• Two people could give very strong answers without agreeing on their answers at all.• It is not a topic in disguise – it is an engaging direction for learning.
  • 8. Topic vs Essential QuestionTopics are: Essential Questions are:• Noun - focused • Focused on comparisions • Interdisciplinary• Located within one subject. • Big picture• Dull and vague • Engaging • Student -centeredExamples:• World War II Aircraft Examples: • What WW II era plane had the• Haikus greatest effect on warfare?• Meiosis and Mitosis • How can fewer words communicate more? • What is the most effective kind of reproduction in the animal world and why?
  • 9. Don’t just translate a topic• Often standards are presented • Instead, create questions that as chunks of knowledge to be you would be interested in learned. Avoid simply discussing or researching. assigning a topic by turning it into a question – i.e. don’t use essential questions like: • What World War II innovation• Why is World War II has had the greatest effect on important? your life?• What are the main steps to doing scientific research?
  • 10. Get more information• how• General information• resources#pbl_ppt• (read through the power point and engage in some of the activities.)